When Orange County businessman BJ Fazeli first visited Temecula wine country twelve years ago, it was love at first sight. He and his wife began to dream of owning vineyards and incorporating their rich Persian culture into a lush tasting room and winery.
Alas, Pierce’s Disease ravaged the valley that year, so their dreams were put on hold.
“We were finally able to begin our journey eight years ago,” said Fazeli. “We now have 34 acres of estate planted vines and are producing some really special wines.”
After spending eight years developing award-winning wines, Fazeli Cellars is ready to realize the next phase of the dream: opening a tasting room near City Hall in Old Town Temecula.
“We are very excited about the tasting room,” said Fazeli, indicating that the grand opening is slated for early November. “It will be warm and comfortable, a perfect fit for the Temecula vibe.”
Until now, Fazeli wines have only been available in some 30 local restaurants, golf clubs and casinos. With the opening of the tasting room, Fazeli expects to increase production — a familiar task.
“We age our wines in new French barrels for at least 24 months and consistently sell out of the 1,200 cases that we release,” said Fazeli, noting that they have been reserving wine for the past couple of years to be ready for the tasting room to open.
“The reserve wines will not be enough for us to keep up with the demand, so we increased production to 4,500 cases in 2012,” Fazeli said.
Another increase will be in order soon enough as Fazeli Cellars breaks ground on a production facility and tasting room on their vineyard property on the De Portola Wine Trail.
“We can’t wait to open up the property to the community,” said Fazeli. “Temecula has been so warm and generous with us and we look forward to expanding the feeling of family that we have here.”
The facility will be set back on the property, completely surrounded by vineyards.
“Without a view of the road to interrupt the fantasy, we hope our guests will feel transported to another time and place,” said Fazeli.
Featuring a Santa Barbara Moorish-style and rich Persian-inspired decor, the planned winery promises to complete the dream.
“This started as a hobby for us, but has become a lifestyle,” smiled Fazeli. “We will be relocating to Temecula Valley soon — this is where we belong.”
Fazeli Cellars is located at 27495 Diaz Road, Temecula.
To learn more, visit www.fazelicellars.com.
Corie Maue is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.